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Parties, election campaigning, and the Internet: toward a comparative institutional approach

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This chapter argues that a comparative approach to analyzing the relationship between technology and political institutions has the potential to o!er renewed understanding of the development of the Internet in election campaigning. Taking the di!erent characteristics of political parties and the norms and rules of the electoral environment in the United States and the United Kingdom as an illustration, it suggests that the relationship between technology and political institutions is dialectical. Technologies can reshape institutions, but institutions will mediate eventual outcomes. The chapter outlines "ve key variables: degree of systemic institutional pluralism; organization of membership; candidate recruitment and selection; campaign "nance; and the “old” campaign communication environment. This approach has the potential to generate a theoretical framework for explaining di!erences in the impact of the Internet on election campaigning across liberal democracies.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/31498/

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